News Roundup › Community Input
Sep 12 2012
Like many cities hoping to make the transition from car-centric to multi-modal, New Orleans faces several obstacles, ranging from physical infrastructural improvements that must be made, to a cultural shift that encourages more bikers and transit riders. While better bike lanes and sidewalks might solve part of the problem, how might the city help its residents to choose alternative methods of transportation? As part of GOOD Ideas for New Orleans, the Biking & Transit team received $500 from Neighborland to execute simple, low-cost ideas for improving the biking experience.
Jun 5 2012
For new crowdfunding site, Lucky Ant, the idea behind Kickstarter’s success means more than stardom for previously undiscovered artists. Lucky Ant hopes to do for local businesses what Kickstarter does for musicians by showcasing the value and relevance of a neighborhood’s small business and generating revenues through a group effort to help sustain, and grow, their local faves. A tip jar for the 21st century, there are so many ways to support your local independent!
May 8 2012
While proposals for the creation of a new hospitality district are being quietly shuffled through the city and state legislatures, concerned New Orleans residents are raising their voices in an effort to ensure increased transparency and public involvement in the process. Citizens’ suggestions include slowing the bills down to allow for further public review and comment, as well as appointing an affected-resident review board.
Apr 17 2012
Friends of the Lafitte Corridor hosted over 100 walkers at their annual “Hike the Lafitte Corridor” informational guided tour of the Greenway on Saturday, April 14th, 2012. The hike paired knowledgeable Greenway guides with curious citizens eager to learn more about the design, process, and implementation of the community-connecting Greenway trail and bike path.
Sep 3 2011
Today, the High Line is one of Manhattan’s most popular public spaces: a mile-long, modern, high-concept park built on the old railroad track. In the 10 months after it opened in 2009, it drew 2 million visitors and — in a rare ratio for a public space in New York — about half were tourists. Half were native New Yorkers.
Aug 25 2011
Mar 16 2011
Walgreens executives have yet to commit to the Magazine Street project (which would include closing their location on Tchoupitoulas), said developer Louis Stirling Properties, but appear to be the tenant most likely to be able to pay the building’s $600,000 lease. Stirling’s plan for the building includes removing its brick front completely and replacing it with a glass wall with steel columns — not unlike nearby Whole Foods — and many residents asked why such a modern design was chosen.
Controversy Surrounding New Romney Pilates Studio on Magazine Street May Pave the Way for Reforms in City Planning, Permitting
Jan 25 2011
One major area of questions that emerged with the debate over the Romney Pilates building is the veracity of information presented to public bodies as they make decisions and how to ensure that applicants’ plans stay within the spirit of what was permitted.
Jan 10 2011
Those in the neighborhood say such statements are blatant misrepresentation, and the board was duped. The class schedule and list of teachers on the Romney website prove that more than four people at a time will be in the building, elevating the need for more parking, they say. And the picture that was shown to the board depicts a much lower-profile two-story building than what has sprouted on Magazine Street.
Nov 10 2010
“This is the most productive ecosystem in North America, on this continent, right here in the Gulf of Mexico,” he said. “The repercussions of this oil spill, the repercussions of this hurricane, the statistics prove, the facts prove there are national and international repercussions. Every taxpayer in this country is paying for the loss and the degradation of this ecosystem.”
Oct 12 2010
“The difference (on the VA side) is that the decision-makers over there are people who care about New Orleans,” Davis said. “On this side, it’s the state and (Louisiana State University) who have shown nothing but contempt for the quality of life in New Orleans.”
Sep 10 2010
Mayor Mitch Landrieu joined Friday with several elected officials and not-for-profit executives in an attempt to celebrate the redevelopment program as an alternative to razing the structures. But the event evolved into a contentious affair as neighborhood residents, businesspeople and community activists used the forum to blast the government’s planning process for the VA hospital and the adjacent state teaching hospital that will replace the shuttered Charity Hospital.
Aug 13 2010
“The mayor believes whether it’s the state government or federal government making an investment in the city, we welcome you,” Kopplin said, “but we expect developers, public or private, to operate within the scope of the city’s master plan … and we expect a seat at the table.” He added, “If we’re going to make billion-dollar investments in the city, we’ve got to get them right.”
Aug 12 2010
Councilwoman Jackie Clarkson, who took the lead in pushing for approval of the plan, said its adoption will provide certainty to both residents and developers. “The rules won’t change in the middle of the game,” she said. “You will not be able to just whimsy and whamsy change zoning.”
Jun 1 2010
Apr 12 2010
Those responsible for the current plan are obviously unaware of the transformative and progressive events and trends occurring in America: the emphasis on livability, on walkable urban design, energy-efficient, multi-modal transportation, compact development and sustainable building design. This hospital plan is so out of touch it doesn’t even address the needs of the dramatically changing health-care system.
Mar 2 2010
Feb 23 2010
Jan 26 2010
David Dixon of Goody Clancy said adoption of the master plan means that “for the first time New Orleans has a plan that provides a credible and legitimate basis for future public policy and decision-making regarding land use, development, zoning, city capital expenditures, transportation, and similar fundamental decisions that shape the city’s future.”
Jan 13 2010
Such a departure would spare scores of camelback and shotgun houses from being taken by eminent domain for the VA to build its hospital in a century-old neighborhood, much of which is included in a National Register Historic District. The property owners are likely to get lower payments from the seizures, because the City Council prohibited them from obtaining permits to fix their houses after the storm, the only New Orleans neighborhood not allowed to recover.
Jan 13 2010
Transparency ought to be the order of the day in a dispute involving a third of a billion dollars, the health of tens of thousands of post-Katrina New Orleanians and the fate of a 25-square-block neighborhood of historic homes and buildings threatened by eminent domain. Instead, secrecy rules.
Dec 3 2009
Dec 3 2009
Sep 13 2009
“It has been a ploy all along by these people to keep on getting another thing, another thing,” Mr. Perry said as he stood on the porch watching cars snake into the facility late Friday afternoon. “First they got to be open 24 hours a day on weekends, then they’ll get it all week, then they’ll go for gaming tables, too.”
Jun 22 2009
I own a multimillion dollar business, with thousands of employees, headquartered in our building at 1900 Canal St. That’s in the 37-acre site that LSU has targeted for expropriation to build a $1.2 billion hospital in Lower Mid City. “Read more.”: http://blog.nola.com/guesteditorials/2009/06/point_of_view_feeling_discarde.html#more
Jun 12 2009
A bemused mother pressed her right palm against her young son’s eyes as she watched a pack of cyclists lackadaisically pedal past them on Royal Street just after noon Saturday.
The hand went over the youngster’s eyes because most of the riders, both men and women, were almost entirely naked. Read more.
May 28 2009
May 25 2009
Apr 28 2009
Chalmette native Matt Faust’s heart-wrenching 6-minute short film has made it on to New Yew York Magazine’s list of Top 5 Favorite Short Films showing at Tribeca this year. Listen to Matt tell why he made the film when he presented it last October as part of the New Orleans Speaks Conference, co-sponsored by The Urban Conservancy.
When he started it, Matt Faust envisioned his short film “Home” as little more than an exercise in self-prescribed, post-Katrina therapy.
With no formal background in filmmaking — and armed with just a collection of old photos, home videos and some computer expertise he picked up while earning degrees in Landscape Architecture at LSU — the Hannan High School graduate simply wanted to make a video that might help his family remember what was lost when their home on tiny Derbigny Street in Chalmette was destroyed by the storm.
“I felt like it was something I just had to do, for myself and my family, ” Faust said last week.
What he couldn’t have envisioned was that his wordless six-minute film would find its way to the Tribeca Film Festival in New York, one of the nation’s premiere film fests, where it will screen this week in competition in the documentary-short category. “Read more.”:
Feb 17 2009
Feb 17 2009
Feb 17 2009
“It’s a travesty,” Fielkow said. “This action takes us 10 steps back at a time that residents now more than ever are calling for more openness in government. With this (executive order), the mayor has moved us to a different era. He is trying to avoid the Open Meetings Law with a scorched earth process and is willing to kill all the fields.”
Dec 2 2008
Sandra Stokes, executive vice chairwoman of the Foundation for Historical Louisiana, said she, along with an architect who reviewed the condition of Big Charity and a doctor who is advocating for the reopening of the storm-damaged hospital, were blocked from joining the tour.
Nov 25 2008
The National Trust for Historic Preservation strongly urged the VA to work with the incoming Obama Administration to explore the alternative sites that would restore needed health care facilities faster and at less cost, while preserving much more of the historic Mid-City neighborhood. At the same time, the National Trust for Historic Preservation noted that the VA’s decision is based on the desire to co-locate with an LSU medical facility - whose projected $1.2 billion funding is far from assured.
Nov 23 2008
Preservation groups also have raised concerns that demolition could proceed before LSU pulls together funding for its new hospital, which is projected to cost $1.2 billion. The university is expected to make a down payment on the hospital with the money it collected from the federal government for the damage Katrina wreaked on Charity. LSU had banked on $500 million; FEMA has not budged above $23 million.
Nov 20 2008
Nov 20 2008
Nov 6 2008
To expand their coalition, Lang said, Republicans will need to find ways to talk about issues relevant to metropolitan areas. “You don’t have to have the same policies as the Democrats, but you have to talk about this and not just talk about values in the small towns,” he said.
Nov 5 2008
Sep 19 2008
Jul 14 2008
Jun 9 2008
Now that’s changing. Flaherty, a former grass-roots organizer for Ronald Reagan, argues that conservatives have been slow to recognize that today it’s corporations, not government, that drive many big social changes. That’s been true recently on issues like gay rights, health-care costs and the environment.
Apr 28 2008
Business owners along Magazine Street have long complained that Radtke, who is not a city employee, has painted on their buildings without their permission. But when told of their concerns, Narcisse said in January that the NOPD has no intention of charging Radtke with defacing of public or private property and praised his efforts in reducing crime and improving the city’s quality of life.
Apr 9 2008
“This is about the future of the Warehouse District and whether it is going to continue to be four- and five-story residences or whether it’s going to be a series of Miami South Beach towers. If I wanted to live in South Beach I would have moved there,” Rubenstein said
Mar 7 2008
Feb 24 2008
The twin hospitals would consume nearly 70 acres of a national historic district, obliterating the Deutsches Haus, a German cultural center; the former McDonogh No. 11 school, a landmark that dates to 1879; and scores of classic shotgun- and sidehall-style homes, including four that were renovated after Katrina with $45,000 in historic preservation grants from the state. The Dixie Brewery and the modernist City Hall annex also sit inside the hospital footprint, although city leaders have indicated those buildings could be spared.
Jan 28 2008
The open-air center will include a 140,000-square-foot Lowe’s Home Center, another 200,000-square-foot anchor, two other 100,000-square-foot anchors and 650,000 square feet of other assorted retail and a movie theater… . The New Orleans-based developer is still finalizing the development’s total costs, but the TIF bonds will provide some percentage of that cost, he said. Last summer, Kailas estimated a total cost of $200 million.
Jan 21 2008
In the late 1960s, I argued that DC should have governing neighborhood commissions. When we were granted “advisory neighborhood commissions” in the 1970s, I argued that our first goal should be to kick the A out of ANC, replacing their token status with real governmental powers. I still believe such bodies are a greatly needed national urban reform. Among the jobs of such bodies would be to preserve the community and culture which they serve.
Dec 23 2007
When Ochsner Health System last summer announced plans to buy three New Orleans area hospitals that were badly battered by Hurricane Katrina, health care advocates hailed the move as salvation for a region in dire need of medical services.
But many observers were unaware that the deal to buy the properties from Tenet Healthcare Corp. hinged on a promise to block the reopening of Lindy Boggs Medical Center, a hospital Tenet owned in Mid-City that has been shuttered since the storm.
Dec 21 2007
After protesters clashed violently with the police inside and outside the New Orleans City Council chambers on Thursday, the Council voted unanimously to allow the federal government to demolish 4,500 apartments in the four biggest public housing projects here.
Announcing Release of the Big Box Evaluator Website and Tool: The tool that helps you learn about the impacts of big box retail stores
Nov 21 2007
Available free to the public at www.bigboxevaluator.org, the web-based interface allows users to learn about commercial and retail development in general, but also to input specific information from their communities and receive customized reports on economics, values, planning and municpal services, and ways to improve the development process.
Nov 13 2007
Nov 7 2007
“The new broadcast outlet offers a window into the rapidly changing African American political consciousness in post-Katrina New Orleans. The new format, “Talk Back: Talk Black” marks a significant development in African American political life post-Katrina. Bakewell’s comments on today’s broadcast made it clear that his goal is to make WBOK a voice for African Americans in New Orleans and the Diaspora.
Oct 22 2007
The ORM has $2.4 million of an estimated $2.5 million needed to complete phase one, which includes developing a greenway between North Broad and Jefferson Davis Parkway. ORM will use $2 million from the $117 million authorized by the Louisiana Recovery Authority for the city, $313,000 from the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development and a $95,000 grant from the American Institute of Architects to develop the park.
Oct 18 2007
Oct 11 2007
Moises has said the the first three floors of the hospital could be reopened in months. Following Katrina, Moises and a team of nearly 200 doctors, nurses and military personnel spent a month cleaning and decontaminating the first three floors of the hospital, intent on returning at least a portion of it to operational status.
Sep 15 2007
The mere mention of gentrification has so inflamed the discussion … that stereotypes and political grandstanding have obscured the facts and tangible impacts on real people. Austin succeeded, at least in part, in detaching itself from much of the hyperbole by conducting a set of separate, relatively rigorous studies on the intersection of gentrification and preservation. The city’s efforts have suggested that the answer to gentrification is not found in broad-brush generalizations, but rather in analyzing each neighborhood’s specific economic and social concerns, understanding them as inextricably tied to a complex local history, and devising appropriate solutions and strategies responsive to the community’s needs and aspirations.
Jun 19 2007
These pockets of productivity are notable in that people succeeded with little if any involvement from the central government. To my colleague Peter Gordon of the University of Southern California and me, this sends an important message: Rather than try to fix a doomed political process, neighborhoods should be allowed to secede from the city.
Apr 18 2007
Mar 7 2007
Our new [neighborhood] commission worked remarkably well considering that all of us were playing it by ear. We made some simple rules that helped. For example, we would only deal with local issues. That way our national and citywide conflicts wouldn’t ruin our meetings.
Feb 16 2007
Jan 17 2007
As a native of the city and a lifelong resident of the metropolitan area, I cannot recall ever seeing such a large march in New Orleans. During Vietnam, hundreds marched in protest and in 1996; hundreds marched on City Hall after the Louisiana Pizza Kitchen murders. But, yesterday, thousands marched, black and white, young and old, male and female. School children were joined by CBD workers, all united in one cause, to stop the killings.
Jan 17 2007
Jan 17 2007
“What you won’t see in the plan (are) directives that prioritize certain neighborhoods or districts over another, because we believe that they’re all viable,” said Joe Butler, a spokesman for the planning process. “And we are not in any position to select how they are brought back and the timeline (on which) they are brought back.”
Nov 16 2006
Sep 29 2006
Question: How did you go from neighborhood rallies to running a nationally renowned organization?
Answer: Well, the street protests were cute and motivating and all, but eventually I decided it was time to get serious. In 2001, I founded Sustainable South Bronx — not as a moral crusade, but as an economic-development group that was about planning our future, not just reacting to environmental blight. I wanted to play offense, not defense. I wanted to give our community permission to dream, to plan for healthy air, healthy jobs, healthy children, and safe streets.
Sep 6 2006
Beyond the quest for money looms one giant, unsettled question: Will planners revisit the size of New Orleans’ developed footprint? … . In a city built for more than double the number of people who now live in it, the footprint issue won’t be doused by pronouncements that New Orleans plans a full recovery, many argue.
Aug 23 2006
all parties at the planning table must first be prepared to do even more hard work - “to be vigilant at nurturing and strengthening, making sure some of the key elements of the plan are in place: transparency, openness in participation, and communication.” And, he added, “the Community Support Organization - which doesn’t appear to exist yet - will be critical in its policy role.”
Aug 9 2006
Much of the criticism relating to land use decision making centers on the role of City Council. At the root of the problem are two “Ds”: deference and discretion. Critics charge that City Council is vested with too much discretion and misuses it, routinely overruling recommendations made by the City Planning Commission and its staff.
Aug 9 2006
The Alston / Bannerman Fellowship Program is committed to advancing progressive social change by helping to sustain long-time activists of color. The program honors those who have devoted their lives to helping their communities organize for racial, social, economic and environmental justice. The program provides resources for organizers to take sabbaticals for reflection and renewal.
Jun 5 2006
Jun 5 2006
May 17 2006
[Jackie] Clarkson stormed out of a forum at Woodland Presbyterian Church in Algiers after resident Teresa Haab accused Clarkson of not keeping a 3-year-old promise to repair her street and asked: “Why would anyone vote for someone that lies?”
Moderator Frances Sewell said Clarkson took more than six minutes to respond to the question and resisted each time she was told she had reached a three-minute limit on answers. “I’m gonna finish, Frances!” Clarkson said several times before storming out.
May 17 2006
And when the developers revealed that a Wal-Mart Supercenter and Sam’s Club were going to be a part of the project, heated and emotional opposition erupted, led by Covington-area residents who continue to wage an unprecedented battle to stop the development.
Unable to derail the center before the Zoning Commission, the Parish Council and state courts, the residents have turned to the St. Tammany’s home rule charter, which allows citizens’ initiatives to repeal parish ordinances.
It’s the first time a citizens’ initiative has been attempted in Louisiana to reverse a rezoning ordinance, parish officials said. And the Parish Council has filed suit, questioning whether the process can be legally used to repeal zoning ordinances. The case, which could have repercussions in other parishes with similar provisions in their home rule charters, is scheduled to be heard Thursday in state district court in Covington.
Dec 14 2005
An agreement that will be discussed at this week’s WTO
ministerial meeting in Hong Kong poses a serious threat to state and
local authority over land use policy, according to Public Citizen. Big
box retailers such as Wal-Mart are pushing for new provisions in the
WTO’s General Agreement on Trade in Services that could further
undermine local zoning and other land use and development policies.
Among the local laws threatened by GATS rules are those that impose size and height restrictions on big box stores; limits on hours of operation; economic needs tests before stores can be approved; and limits on development to protect the environment or protect historic and cultural sites. No state or local group has yet recognized the threat posed to land use laws and local sovereignty by the WTO’s one-size-fits-all rules for service firms. One group that has recognized this threat is major
“Major big box retail corporations have been eyeing the GATS as a way of gutting local zoning and land use laws that have kept them out of
communities in Europe and the United States.”
Nov 16 2005
The 2005 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award will be presented to Stephen Bradberry, the Lead Organizer of the New Orleans chapter of ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now), the nation’s largest community organization of low- and moderate-income families working together for social justice and stronger communities. The award ceremony will take place in the Caucus Room of the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington, DC on November 16th at 10:30 a.m.
Nov 16 2005
“Welcome to the Third World!” More than one person said this to me when I moved to New Orleans in 2001. Living there, I learned to tell direction, not by north or south, but by upriver or downriver. I learned a new vocabulary of pirogues, po’ boys, second-lining and making groceries. I learned what Mardi Gras was really all about. And I learned something about what it meant to live in one of the poorest cities, in one of the poorest metropolitan areas, in one of the poorest regions of the country.
Nov 2 2005
Nov 2 2005
A month after the creation of the Bring New Orleans Back Commission by Mayor C. Ray Nagin - before it has even had a chance to take up basic procedural questions - there are already signs the commission is in trouble. It is struggling to focus on major rebuilding issues rather than smaller complaints, and sharp divisions have begun to develop among its members.
Mar 30 2005
“The cause was a heart attack, said her daughter, Yolanda Gonzalez. She was stricken at the office of Nos Quedamos/We Stay, the community group she helped found in the early 1990’s to prevent the eviction of hundreds of people who lived and worked in the neighborhood.”
“The vow embodied by the group’s name became a rallying cry for Ms. Garcia, after she and her neighbors learned of a city redevelopment plan that would transform 30 blocks from rubble-covered lots into buildings that would house 4,000 families.”
Dec 16 2002
The lawsuit pits development company St. Charles Ventures LLC against Albertsons over a store intended to open this year at the intersection of Felicity and Carondolet streets. Instead, only gravel and litter mark the vacant lot where about a dozen homes were removed to make way for the development.
May 13 2002
Mar 11 2002
The plan has been back in the spotlight this month as Audubon’s chief critic, Internet group SaveAudubonPark.org, sent out a rash of e-mails questioning city money that is going to the golf course renovation. At its March 21 regular meeting, the City Council will decide whether to allow the mayor to enter into a “cooperative endeavor agreement” with Audubon, which would allow Audubon to access $1.98 million in bond money for the golf course project.